TODAY -

Concentrate on next step
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: November 30 2011 -

A map showing Sadar Hills
A map showing Sadar Hills :: Pix - TSE



Finally it has happened, the United Naga Council after imposing a economic blockade on the two lifelines of Manipur for hundred long days lifted it with effect from 6 am of November 29, much to the relieve of the long suffering people of the state.

While the SHDDC's economic blockade on the two highways of the state demanding a full-fledged Sadar Hills District (and against which the UNC began their counter blockade) was already lifted on November 1, the UNC had continued on.

While the SHDDC suspended their economic blockade following a signing of a MoU with the government wherein the state government agreed to upgrade Sadar hills as full-fledged district at the earlier after submission of report of the Committee on Re-organisation of Administrative and Police District Boundaries (CRAPDB), the UNC gave three reasons for lifting their counter blockade.

The most significant among these three which is relevant to the whole issue of Sadar Hills is the assurance given to the UNC delegation by the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram that the Nagas will be consulted while taking a decision on Sadar Hills.

As for the other two reasons for calling off the blockade - appeals of the church leaders and civil society organizations and the suffering of the people of the state, these were always there for a long time but never became a compelling reason to lift the blockade.

What happens to the issue of Sadar Hills District now? Interestingly, the SHDDC met the Chief Minister and other representatives of the government on the day the UNC took the decision to lift the economic blockade, wherein it was decided to wait for the CRAPDB to submit its report which it was supposed to do by November 25.

The state government further bought some more time with SHDDC on account of the visit of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA Convenor Sonia Gandhi on December 3.

Once the CRAPDB submits its report, pressure will mount on the government to make sense of the differing and contradicting viewpoints of the various groups and civil society groups and act on it.

The SHDDC, at such point of time would definitely exert more pressure on the government to come good on its obligation as per the MoU.

On the other hand, the UNC armed as it is, by the assurance given to it by the Home Minister P Chidambaram to make sure that O Ibobi does not take any decision on Sadar Hills without consulting the Nagas first, is not going to let go of their opposition to the formation of a full fledged Sadar Hills district as envisioned by the SHDDC.

While we all welcome the lifting of the economic blockades first by the SHDDC on November 1 and the counter economic blockade by UNC on November 29, which will definitely ease the suffering of the people of the state to a great extend, the issue on which these blockades were imposed in the first place has not moved towards any resolution.

The solution still remains as intractable will remain so in the absence of a real dialogue between the contending positions with a spirit of understanding and accommodation.

The state government, in the meanwhile should actively facilitate such dialogue and come to an amicable solution.

But all said and done, in the ultimate analysis, the Government of Manipur must take a call on this issue after taking due cognizance of every possible viewpoint.

Postponing, a decision, which many previous governments have been doing will only complicate this issue further, make it more contentious and volatile.





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